Facebook has officially announced Slingshot, one week after accidentally releasing an early version on Apple’s iTunes App Store. Slingshot is a messaging app that lets you send your friends an ephemeral photo or video. The app packs in all the usual standard messaging features, like options to overlay text or doodles. But there’s a catch — if you want to see what your friends have shared with you on Slingshot, you’ll have to reciprocate and “sling” something back. The messages you receive show up distorted and pixelated unless you sling back either an image or video.
“We’ve enjoyed using Snapchat to send each other ephemeral messages and expect there to be a variety of apps that explore this new way of sharing,” Facebook’s Slingshot team said in a blog post. “With Slingshot, we saw an opportunity to create something new and different: a space where you can share everyday moments with lots of people at once.”
Apparently, it was reported that Snapchat rejected a $3 billion bid from Facebook in 2013. Many people are calling Slingshot a Snapchat competitor, and it will be interesting to see how well Slingshot is received, especially after Facebook’s last messaging app “Poke” failed.
Slingshot is available for iPhone users who have iOS 7 and Android device users who are on KitKat or Jelly Bean.